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Why 401K plans are so great

Participating in your company 401(k) plan lowers your tax bill and makes monthly saving automatic. Meanwhile, your money grows tax-free. That’s a good thing.

  • Tax benefits
  • Automatic savings
  • Employer matching contributions

Tax benefits

One of the most powerful advantages of participating in a 401(k) is the money you save in taxes. Your 401(k) contributions are taken out of your paycheck before taxes are deducted from your paycheck. That means your gross income is reduced, so you pay less in income taxes.

There’s more. As your 401(k) grows in value over time, you don’t pay taxes on those gains like you do with a bank account or individually owned stocks or mutual funds. You only pay taxes on your 401(k) when you begin to withdraw the money at age 59 1/2, when you may be in a lower tax bracket.

Because you’re not paying taxes on any gains from the account, your 401(k) money can grow more quickly, year after year, than many other types of savings.

Automatic savings

Let’s face it, most people have a hard time setting aside money for savings each month. 401(k)’s take care of that with “forced” savings. The money is automatically moved from your paycheck to your 401(k) account before you can get your hands on it. With a 401(k), you are in effect paying yourself first – with money that otherwise would have been spent. Year over year and that can add up to big savings. Of course, the earlier you start, the bigger your 401(k) can grow. If you receive a pay raise at work, it’s a good idea to increase your 401(k) contribution so you continue to save at the same rate.

Employer matching contributions

If your employer offers a matching contribution, that’s free money to you. The more your employer matches, the less you have to save on your own. Always take advantage of an employer match and contribute at least the amount they will match.

Our goal is to change how we think about saving.

I founded NARPP as a non-profit, because I believe that retirement savings should be about people— and making their lives better. Not about assets under management, sales goals and commissions. The process of saving for retirement has become so complex and confusing it is not surprising that people have a hard time figuring out what’s in their best interest.  It doesn’t need to be this way. At NARPP we are committed to simplifying the complex, delivering fair and transparent investment information, and giving people ownership and control of their retirement savings. Our singular mission is to help you succeed.

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